when even free advertising fails

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when even free advertising fails

Carol Spears
for how many years now does Photoshop(TM) get free advertising on this
mail list and the only thing that have to fill the free time with is
that layers effect thing?

a forum where they can constantly bombard and belittle TheGIMP and are
free to do so and the best they can pull out of their over-extended
reasoning is this layers effect stuff.

do any gimp users think this is helping them?

carol

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Re: when even free advertising fails

David Marrs
Carol Spears wrote:

>for how many years now does Photoshop(TM) get free advertising on this
>mail list and the only thing that have to fill the free time with is
>that layers effect thing?
>
>a forum where they can constantly bombard and belittle TheGIMP and are
>free to do so and the best they can pull out of their over-extended
>reasoning is this layers effect stuff.
>
>do any gimp users think this is helping them?
>
>carol
>  
>
I think you have to accept that, on a gimp forum, people are going to
discuss what they like and what they don't like about the gimp, while
inevitably comparing it to the alternatives that are available. It's
also a fact that people post to a user forum with problems more than
they post with tales of glee. Perhaps that's a shame; I think it's
inevitable.

Since you bring it up, I was thinking just earlier today how frustrated
I get when something suddenly stops working and I need to stop what I'm
doing and look through the manual to find out what's wrong. The manual,
btw, is always close at hand. I was wondering if it's' something I
should discuss with the list or not. How can the interface be improved?
What are its short comings? Does anyone else have this problem with it?
Judging by Carey Bunks's FAQ section at the end of every chapter of
"Grokking the GIMP", yes. It would be nice to see some discussion of the
GIMP's design, or its roadmap, or to feel that one can be involved in
this project other than just by submitting bug reports or hacking code.

As for layer effects, well perhaps you should ask the users what it is
they get out of them. Who knows? You might learn something.

Sometimes the GIMP helps me, sometimes it hinders me. That's how it is.
Not being a programmer, there's not much I can do directly to change it.
And since you'd rather I bite my lip about it, it's unlikely that
anybody else will do anything about it either.


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Re: when even free advertising fails

ricardo c.
At least, most users makes resonable complains. Sometimes I get pissed
off when I´m talking with friends at IRC and they tell me that gimp
sucks and it´s nerd thing. This is something negative. But, when you
say that something in the interface annoys you, or you don´t like how
gimp deals with cmyk, or that it tool are wack, it´s okay... it´s
acceptable. However, it would be really nice with you say how would
you like it to be, what else it should do, how to improve it...

I know that most of us, in this list or whatever else, aren´t
programmers. I wish I was! I wish I could help gimp figuring out these
things.

I dont know what else can I say.

I think that´s all...

cheers!

And I pretty concerned about free software on europe... it can be our "end".
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Re: when even free advertising fails

David Marrs
In reply to this post by David Marrs
David Marrs wrote:

>
> Sometimes the GIMP helps me, sometimes it hinders me. That's how it
> is. Not being a programmer, there's not much I can do directly to
> change it. And since you'd rather I bite my lip about it, it's
> unlikely that anybody else will do anything about it either.
>
>
Actually, that was a bit of a terse reply, now that I read it back. I
can appreciate that you may well have put a lot into the GIMP as a
developer and would like to see a bit of encouragement from its users. I
*am* very grateful for the GIMP and think it says much for the spirit of
free software. I also think it has some way to go before it becomes a
mature product, but I think that it is only a matter of time before it
is at least on a par with products like Photoshop, unless software
patents beat us to it.

But I would like to see more direct involvement with the users. It seems
that you have the developers on the one hand and the users on the other.
The developers provide a new release, the users assess it, the
developers consider the criticism and the cycle continues. Inkscape has
a much more social nature. Everyone chips in; it feels very much like
it's our software. There are requests for users to help out in various
ways and everyone can help somehow if he wants to. There's also a clear
roadmap so that we can see what's coming and make suggestions about how
certain features might be implemented. Their mailing list is much more
optimistic because, I think, users feel that this is their project that
they are helping make. I'm not sure that users feel that way about the
GIMP. I don't, to be honest.


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Re: when even free advertising fails

William Skaggs
In reply to this post by Carol Spears

David Marrs wrote:
> As for layer effects, well perhaps you should ask the users what it is
> they get out of them. Who knows? You might learn something.

I think most of the developers already understand the value
of layer effects quite well.  Let me try to summarize the current
situation.  There are basically two possible ways of proceeding.
One is to add layer effects onto the current GIMP architecture,
which could be done, but in a somewhat hackish and ugly way.
The other is to defer them until the arrival of the long-planned
GEGL-based architecture, which will make layer effects and many
other nice things easy and natural to implement.  The decision
has been to wait for GEGL.  Whether this is the correct strategy
can be debated, but it definitely doesn't mean that we don't
care about layer effects.

Best,
  -- Bill
 

 
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Re: when even free advertising fails

Eric P-3
In reply to this post by David Marrs
> David Marrs wrote:
> I
> *am* very grateful for the GIMP and think it says much for the spirit of
> free software. I also think it has some way to go before it becomes a
> mature product,

Huh... the Gimp is not "mature"?  Thank you for sharing that.  I
honestly didn't know!

Shit... and while I'm at it, I best let my boss know ASAP that he's been
paying me in a professional capacity to use an app that's not "mature".

It's a wonder I've gotten anything done at all!
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Re: when even free advertising fails

Gezim Hoxha
In reply to this post by Carol Spears
On Thu, 2005-05-05 at 07:04 -0700, Carol Spears wrote:

> a forum where they can constantly bombard and belittle TheGIMP and are
> free to do so and the best they can pull out of their over-extended
> reasoning is this layers effect stuff.

I'm not sure who "they" are, but if you're referring to people in this
list that are not afraid to admit gimp's weaknesses, these people have
every right to point them out. You can't fix a problem if you don't even
accept it. Lack of layer effects is not a problem? ...Just ask the
serious graphic developers.

-Gezim

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Re: when even free advertising fails

Olivier Ripoll
In reply to this post by David Marrs
David Marrs wrote:

> Since you bring it up, I was thinking just earlier today how frustrated
> I get when something suddenly stops working and I need to stop what I'm
> doing and look through the manual to find out what's wrong. The manual,
> btw, is always close at hand. I was wondering if it's' something I
> should discuss with the list or not. How can the interface be improved?
> What are its short comings? Does anyone else have this problem with it?
> Judging by Carey Bunks's FAQ section at the end of every chapter of
> "Grokking the GIMP", yes. It would be nice to see some discussion of the
> GIMP's design, or its roadmap, or to feel that one can be involved in
> this project other than just by submitting bug reports or hacking code.

Hey! If you think the FAQ section in (the excellent) "Grokking the Gimp"
is a proof that the interface has to be improved, then you should
install Gimp 2.0 or even 2.2. ;-)
Seriously, Carey Bunk's book was about gimp 1.2 (and it was even written
based on the 1.1.x series, not the final 1.2). Gimp developers have
worked a lot on the interface since that era. It is still not perfect
(what is perfection?) but has probably solved quite a lot of the
problems mentionned by the book (which was, I do not remember if I
mentionned it ;) , excellent).

If you want to participate to the improvement of the interface not only
"by submitting bug reports or hacking code", you can do some interface
testing/surveying. Some people have presented such results in the past
and they were usually welcomed and accounted by the developers:

Write a set of "typical" tasks to be performed (e.g. "removing red eyes
from a photo", "cropping and rescaling an image", "opening, rotating
right -or left- and saving to a new name and location") and find some
volunteers to perform these tasks (classify them in several categories
such as "experienced gimp user", "experienced PS user", "totally new to
image manipulation", "granny / aunt Tilly"). Then observe them while
performing the tasks (one volunteer at a time), take notes of their
comments, frustrations, the places they expected to find the
functionnality, the time they spent, everything.

Such a survey is always useful. Before launching it, present the
protocol to us for comments of course.

Best regards,

Olivier


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Re: when even free advertising fails

David Marrs
In reply to this post by Eric P-3
Eric P wrote:

>> David Marrs wrote:
>> I *am* very grateful for the GIMP and think it says much for the
>> spirit of free software. I also think it has some way to go before it
>> becomes a mature product,
>
>
> Huh... the Gimp is not "mature"?  Thank you for sharing that.  I
> honestly didn't know!
>
> Shit... and while I'm at it, I best let my boss know ASAP that he's
> been paying me in a professional capacity to use an app that's not
> "mature".
>
> It's a wonder I've gotten anything done at all!
> _______________________________________________
> Gimp-user mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.xcf.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/gimp-user
>
>
>
Refined, then.


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Re: when even free advertising fails

Sven Neumann
In reply to this post by Gezim Hoxha
Hi,

Gezim Hoxha <[hidden email]> writes:

> On Thu, 2005-05-05 at 07:04 -0700, Carol Spears wrote:
>
>> a forum where they can constantly bombard and belittle TheGIMP and are
>> free to do so and the best they can pull out of their over-extended
>> reasoning is this layers effect stuff.
>
> I'm not sure who "they" are, but if you're referring to people in this
> list that are not afraid to admit gimp's weaknesses, these people have
> every right to point them out. You can't fix a problem if you don't even
> accept it. Lack of layer effects is not a problem?

You are perfectly right that it is important to point out weak spots.
The discussions that have been happening on this list lately have
however not pointed out a singleq weak spots that wouldn't have been
well-known already. Bringing up stuff that is already in the
bug-tracker and on the roadmap for years doesn't really help anyone.


Sven
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Re: Re: when even free advertising fails

David Marrs
In reply to this post by Olivier Ripoll
Olivier Ripoll wrote:

> Hey! If you think the FAQ section in (the excellent) "Grokking the
> Gimp" is a proof that the interface has to be improved, then you
> should install Gimp 2.0 or even 2.2. ;-)

I'm running 2.2 and still find the FAQ invaluable.

As an example, I thought I'd try toggling a selection. Bunks mentions in
Ch.3 that it's easy to forget that you've toggled a selection so I
thought I'd see if this is still the case:

I opened an image and used the lasoo to make a quick selection. Hmm,
that's odd... no marching ants. Let's try again, making sure the start
and end points overlap... nope, still isn't working. Oh well, scrap that
and use the elipse select. Use control-T to toggle its visibility. Is
there any indication that visibility is switched off? No, which is why
Bunks has "scratched (his) head many times trying to figure out
why...the GIMP no longer seemed to be working."

In trying that just now, I (genuinely) couldn't get the lassoo to work.
This is an example of the sort of problem I come across every time I try
a new tool, or come back to one that I haven't used in a while. Because
I've been using GIMP for a little while now, I'm getting used to the
idea of holding down modifier keys. So it didn't take me long to figure
out that I needed to hold down shift to make the selection. With a bit
more playing, I finally figured out what the default lassoo action
actually does. Maybe there's a good reason for having the primary action
intersect and the secondary action add. Whatever it is, it's not to aid
learning. I figured it out relatively quickly, but unless a newbie
cottoned on to the idea, he would probably remain lost.

I've quickly come to accept that the GIMP cannot be learned by mucking
about with it and picking things up. One can't just launch the
application and start making graphics with it. One needs to sit down
with the manual, or a book, and learn it that way. Clearly the GIMP
works well for some people, but not for me. It's an application that I'm
starting to get, but the learning curve is often a frustrating one. Most
people just simply wouldn't bother; they'd go use something else
instead, regardless of whether or not it's free, proprietary, better or
worse.

In direct contrast, I was making some pretty cool graphics in Inkscape
within minutes of first launching the application. I learned to get
loads out it long before I ever looked at the manual. In fact, the
manual, which I eventually discovered under the help section (a place I
visited out of curiosity rather than necessity), merely served to
confirm many of the operations I'd already learnt by myself. Granted,
it's still a new app and has a long way to go before it becomes
complicated, but, no matter how complicated it eventually becomes, it
will always be childsplay to make graphics with it, because it's
childsplay now.

>
> Write a set of "typical" tasks to be performed (e.g. "removing red
> eyes from a photo", "cropping and rescaling an image", "opening,
> rotating right -or left- and saving to a new name and location") and
> find some volunteers to perform these tasks (classify them in several
> categories such as "experienced gimp user", "experienced PS user",
> "totally new to image manipulation", "granny / aunt Tilly"). Then
> observe them while performing the tasks (one volunteer at a time),
> take notes of their comments, frustrations, the places they expected
> to find the functionnality, the time they spent, everything.
>
> Such a survey is always useful. Before launching it, present the
> protocol to us for comments of course.

I don't think I'll be able to find the volunteers, but I can certainly
document my own experiences with the GIMP, if you think they will be
helpful.

Kind regards,

David


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RE: when even free advertising fails

Kalle Ounapuu
In reply to this post by Carol Spears
The bug-tracker serves it's purpose, but you can't expect everyone to be reading it over before making any comment about GIMP. Maybe there are GIMP users who would love everyone to drop Photoshop (or whatever) and use GIMP. If so, they will have to deal with more of this. Not everyone can spend the time to search something out, or in fact they don't care, they would rather voice it out right away.


-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email]
[mailto:[hidden email]]On Behalf Of Sven
Neumann
Sent: Friday, May 06, 2005 2:49 PM
To: Gezim Hoxha
Cc: gimp user
Subject: Re: [Gimp-user] when even free advertising fails


Hi,

Gezim Hoxha <[hidden email]> writes:

> On Thu, 2005-05-05 at 07:04 -0700, Carol Spears wrote:
>
>> a forum where they can constantly bombard and belittle TheGIMP and are
>> free to do so and the best they can pull out of their over-extended
>> reasoning is this layers effect stuff.
>
> I'm not sure who "they" are, but if you're referring to people in this
> list that are not afraid to admit gimp's weaknesses, these people have
> every right to point them out. You can't fix a problem if you don't even
> accept it. Lack of layer effects is not a problem?

You are perfectly right that it is important to point out weak spots.
The discussions that have been happening on this list lately have
however not pointed out a singleq weak spots that wouldn't have been
well-known already. Bringing up stuff that is already in the
bug-tracker and on the roadmap for years doesn't really help anyone.


Sven
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Re: Re: when even free advertising fails

Simon Budig
In reply to this post by David Marrs
David Marrs ([hidden email]) wrote:
[Troubles getting lasso selection to work]
> [...] I finally figured out what the default lassoo action
> actually does. Maybe there's a good reason for having the primary action
> intersect and the secondary action add. Whatever it is, it's not to aid
> learning. I figured it out relatively quickly, but unless a newbie
> cottoned on to the idea, he would probably remain lost.

Just to clarify what happened here: The tool options can get stored to
disk, I am not sure if it is enabled by default, I'd guess so. At some
point you left the GIMP with the lasso tool in "intersect" mode and Gimp
faithfully restored it on the next startup...

There are "Reset" and "Save" buttons at the bottom of the tool options.
You can use these to restore the default behaviour ("Intersect"
definitely is not the default).

Hope this helps.
        Simon
--
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Re: when even free advertising fails

Sven Neumann
In reply to this post by Kalle Ounapuu
Hi,

"Kalle Ounapuu" <[hidden email]> writes:

> The bug-tracker serves it's purpose, but you can't expect everyone
> to be reading it over before making any comment about GIMP. Maybe
> there are GIMP users who would love everyone to drop Photoshop (or
> whatever) and use GIMP. If so, they will have to deal with more of
> this. Not everyone can spend the time to search something out, or in
> fact they don't care, they would rather voice it out right away.

Sure, no problem. Go ahead. Seriously, any kind of criticism should be
allowed on this list and will be welcomed if it tries to be productive.


Sven
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Re: Re: when even free advertising fails

Sven Neumann
In reply to this post by David Marrs
Hi,

David Marrs <[hidden email]> writes:

> In trying that just now, I (genuinely) couldn't get the lassoo to
> work. This is an example of the sort of problem I come across every
> time I try a new tool, or come back to one that I haven't used in a
> while. Because I've been using GIMP for a little while now, I'm
> getting used to the idea of holding down modifier keys. So it didn't
> take me long to figure out that I needed to hold down shift to make
> the selection. With a bit more playing, I finally figured out what
> the default lassoo action actually does. Maybe there's a good reason
> for having the primary action intersect and the secondary action
> add. Whatever it is, it's not to aid learning.

It was you who set it up that way. The default action of all selection
tools is of course to replace the existing selection. The currently
active mode is always shown in the tool-options.


Sven
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Re: Re: when even free advertising fails

Sven Neumann
In reply to this post by David Marrs
Hi,

David Marrs <[hidden email]> writes:


> As an example, I thought I'd try toggling a selection. Bunks mentions
> in Ch.3 that it's easy to forget that you've toggled a selection so I
> thought I'd see if this is still the case:
>
> I opened an image and used the lasoo to make a quick selection. Hmm,
> that's odd... no marching ants. Let's try again, making sure the start
> and end points overlap... nope, still isn't working. Oh well, scrap
> that and use the elipse select. Use control-T to toggle its
> visibility. Is there any indication that visibility is switched off?
> No, which is why Bunks has "scratched (his) head many times trying to
> figure out why...the GIMP no longer seemed to be working."

There is an indication that it is switched off, but only an experienced
user would look into the View menu and check the state of the toggle
menu items. So you are right, this is a problem, similar to
http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=132204

Now what do you suggest? What kind of indication would you have expected?


Sven
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Re: Re: when even free advertising fails

David Marrs
In reply to this post by Sven Neumann
Sven Neumann wrote:

>It was you who set it up that way. The default action of all selection
>tools is of course to replace the existing selection. The currently
>active mode is always shown in the tool-options.
>
>
>Sven
>
>  
>
Hmm, I can't imagine when I did this, but I suppose I must have clicked
on one of the other buttons at some point. It would be nice if there was
a toolbar in the canvas window itself with the main tool options
repeated there. That would make it easier to tell at a glance what tool
and option is selected. I know this can already be worked out from the
cursor icon, but those who are new to GIMP probably won't understand
what all the symbols mean and might not think to look in the toolkit window.


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Re: Re: when even free advertising fails

David Marrs
In reply to this post by Sven Neumann
Sven Neumann wrote:

>Now what do you suggest? What kind of indication would you have expected?
>  
>
A message in the status bar makes sense to me. Off the top of my head, a
marching-ants outline of an irregular shape (so as not to confuse with
quick mask) with a red X struck through it and a tool tip that says
"selection not visible" on mouse rollover. Better still, clicking the
box would make selections visible, although a status bar is possibly not
the best place to toggle options.

Alternatively, rather than use the status bar, have a toolbar in the
canvas window that includes this along with some other common and useful
options. See my other reply for an example. I suggested a toolbar once
before on this list and it's something I keep coming back to in my own
mind as a possible way of solving a number of the niggles I'm having.

It would be optional so that experienced users can switch it off if they
feel they don't need it, and it should be customisable so that they can
make better use of it. By default, it would simultaneously provide
commonly needed tasks and important visual feedback as to the state of
the canvas, brush etc.


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Re: Re: when even free advertising fails

Akkana Peck
Sven Neumann wrote, regarding an indicator for selection visibility:
> >Now what do you suggest? What kind of indication would you have expected?

David Marrs writes:
> A message in the status bar makes sense to me. Off the top of my head, a
> marching-ants outline of an irregular shape (so as not to confuse with
> quick mask) with a red X struck through it and a tool tip that says
> "selection not visible" on mouse rollover. Better still, clicking the

That would be really helpful!  I'm forever wondering whether I have
a selection or not, and the only way to find out is to go to the
edit and view menus and look, since not seeing a selection might
mean there isn't one or it might mean visibility is toggled off
(or that there is one but it's tiny and I'm not seeing it),
and if I hit ctrl-T and no selection appears, now I'm not sure
whether I just toggled selection off or on, so I still have to
go to the menus to check that.

Toggling selection visibility is something I do all the time, from
the keyboard (is that just me, or is that common?) so being able to
tell easily which state I'm in would be a great help.

> Alternatively, rather than use the status bar, have a toolbar in the
> canvas window that includes this along with some other common and useful
> options. See my other reply for an example. I suggested a toolbar once
> before on this list and it's something I keep coming back to in my own
> mind as a possible way of solving a number of the niggles I'm having.

I'm sure some people would like that, but I wouldn't want to have to
devote space to another toolbar to see this information.  I like the
statusbar idea, even if it was something as simple as another variable
like %S that I could put into statusbar preferences, to say "Selection
Off" or something.  Though an icon with a red X, like David
describes,  would be easier to notice.

        ...Akkana
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Re: Re: when even free advertising fails

Sven Neumann
In reply to this post by David Marrs
Hi,

David Marrs <[hidden email]> writes:

> A message in the status bar makes sense to me.

Huh? The application is supposed to tell you all the time that your
selection is toggled off? There's only one statusbar and it should be
used for useful things.

> Alternatively, rather than use the status bar, have a toolbar in the
> canvas window that includes this along with some other common and
> useful options. See my other reply for an example. I suggested a
> toolbar once before on this list and it's something I keep coming
> back to in my own mind as a possible way of solving a number of the
> niggles I'm having.

Having all possible toggles visible in a toolbar in the image window
be a major waste of screen estate.


Sven

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